By Syed Zafar Mehdi

India, Pakistan, Afghanistan condemn Ahvaz attack, call for joint efforts against terrorism

September 24, 2018 - 23:48

TEHRAN - The deadly terror attack in Iran’s southwestern city of Ahvaz on Saturday has drawn strong condemnations from across the world, including Iran’s neighbors India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In a statement, India strongly condemned the “dastardly terrorist attack” and conveyed condolences to the people and the government of Iran. “We convey our heartfelt condolences to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the families of the victims, and wish speedy recovery to those injured,” said the statement issued by external affairs ministry.

Pakistan’s foreign office also issued a statement, condemning the terrorist attack. “Pakistan strongly condemns the terrorist attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, Iran in which several lives were reportedly lost,” it stated. “Our deepest condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in this heinous attack. Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”

Afghanistan also strongly condemned the attack. “The government of Afghanistan believes that terrorism is a regional and global phenomenon and there is a need for all (regional) countries to fight against this through cooperation,” the statement read.

It further added that the Afghan government believes that terrorism doesn’t know any borders and terrorists “are enemies of humanity”.

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai took to Twitter to condemn the attack and called upon the regional countries to help bring peace in the region.

Indonesia also condemned the attack and expressed “deepest condolences and sympathy” with the victims of the attack and their families, said a statement issued by country’s foreign ministry.

The Islamic Party of Malaysia (IPM), in a statement, also condemned the Ahvaz attack and said the Muslim world must strongly denounce the U.S. and its allies for “perpetuating this attack”.

In Kashmir, people took to streets to condemn the attack and blasted the U.S. and its allies in the Arab world for aiding and abetting such crimes against humanity.  

Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah and Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, in separate statements, also condemned the Ahvaz attack. “The attack was carried out by satanic hands in a bid to destabilize Iran  and punish the Islamic Republic for being a sovereign state and refusing to be subordinate to U.S.,” read a statement by Hezbollah.

The attack, which claimed at least 25 lives, including children and the veterans of Iran-Iraq war, took place during a military ceremony to mark the National Defence Week. The attack was carried out by four heavily-armed terrorists linked to groups sponsored by Saudi Arabia and its allies.

The ceremony is held every year to mark the start of the Iran-Iraq war that broke out after the forces of then Iraqi president Saddam Hussain crossed the Iranian border on Sept 22, 1980 and occupied two of its bordering towns.

Following the attack, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Iran holds the “regional terror sponsors and their U.S. masters” responsible for the attack, and said the terrorists were “recruited, armed and paid by a foreign regime,” stopping short of naming the country.

The chief of the staff of Iran’s armed forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri vowed to track those responsible for the attack anywhere in the world. “I assure the great Iranian nation that their sons in the armed forces would chase the terrorists and would not rest until uprooting this despicable phenomenon.”

President Hassan Rouhani, shortly before boarding a flight for New York to attend the UN General Assembly, said it’s “absolutely clear” who is behind the dastardly attack. “Those who have caused this catastrophe were Saddam’s mercenaries as long as he was alive and then changed masters,” he said.

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